Now that the Series is over, the Senior Circuit has redeemed itself, and I don't reflexively gag every time someone mentions baseball, I finally got caught up on various news and rumor sources. Ms. Muskat’s latest mailbag over at cubs.com has a question I found interesting at the bottom of the list: Is it time for the Cubs management to change their uniforms?
While the suggestions made by the individual who wrote in aren’t what I would suggest (darker blue, new logo, angrier Cub), the letter did get me thinking about and researching the history of the uniforms the north-siders have worn. I found this article on espn.com from earlier this year, with a number of interesting uniform quirks and links to a lot of pictures. Given the frequency of change to the uniforms over much of the team’s history and in baseball in general, I find it odd that (according to the information on the Hall of Fame website) the home uniform appears to have remained unchanged since 1979 (meaning they have worn the same home jerseys for my entire life) and the road grays have been the same since 1997.
I’m not a graphic designer (I studied music because the drugs were better), so I won’t presume to propose a solution, but I would be interested in seeing a change to the uniforms next year, if for no other reason than to try a new approach to breaking the post-season slump. I like the timeless feel the Cubs unis have (the circle-C Cubs has been on the home uniforms in one form or another since 1937), but a few things do puzzle me (like why there is a registered trademark symbol in the modern circular logo, and why there’s a logo on the pants). Since the team is the oldest single city franchise in professional sports (at least in the US), should some special tie to the city be incorporated? Should more red be incorporated into the uniforms or hats? Do we really need to make the road unis gray, or should we do something unique (like the 1978 unis, which I personally really like despite numerous complaints about being powder blue)? Should one of the older Cubs be brought back (again, the ‘62-’78 Cub comes to mind, or the classic ‘standing bear with bat’ from 1908, or the ’49-’61 smiling Cub)? Surely the nation’s team should have the sharpest uniforms in the sport, and while the jerseys look very clean now, they lack the punch and character of many of the older uniforms. Mr. Wrigley would, I suspect, agree.